Small business tax cuts bill one vote short

September 13, 2010 7:07:42 PM PDT
President Obama admits his economic policies haven't worked fast enough for many Americans, but he pleaded with Congressional Republicans to work with him on tax cuts for small businesses. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, brought the same message to San Francisco.

She came home to talk up a small business bill that has stalled in the Senate, one vote short of passing. Pelosi toured the Culinary Edge, a restaurant development firm. She came to talk about the Small Business Lending Fund Act that calls for $12 billion in tax breaks and $30 billion in funding to encourage banks to lend to small businesses.

"The bill has incentives for lending and disincentives if you don't," said Pelosi.

In Virginia, Obama called on Senate Republicans to join Democrats in passing the bill and also extending the Bush era tax cuts for the middle class. Republicans in the Senate say those tax cuts should be extended for all Americans including those making more than $200,000 a year.

"I'm introducing legislation today that ensures that no one in this country will pay higher income taxes next year than they are right now," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY.

Republicans say raising taxes on those making more than $200,000 a year will kill jobs. The owner of SF Party on Post Street, Daniel Cerf, agrees.

"In my opinion I believe it will I think the threshold of $200,000 or $250,000 for a couple is too low," said Cerf.

Cerf says the threshold ought to be $1 million a year. And Pelosi argues most of the tax cuts for the wealthy go to people making that much.

"Eighty percent of the Republican tax cuts for the rich goes to people making over $1 million a year," said Pelosi.

She argues the tax breaks offered in the small business funding act more than make up for any increase in personal income tax, and the owner of the Culinary Edge agreed.

But in San Mateo one of the partners in a $100 million real estate development company says tax cuts for everyone should be eliminated.

"We're spending a lot more than we have. Our deficit is impacting our economy. A lot of people say they're worried about the tax cuts, I think more people are worried about the deficit," said Alan Talansky from EBL&S Development.

On the small business funding act, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, says she's optimistic about its passage and on Monday her opponent in the California senate race, Carly Fiorina, seemed to soften on her position on that legislation. Fiorina said she supports the tax cuts and the funding, but her aides say she is opposed to the legislation in its current form.


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